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Windows Phone, a year on

Windows Phone is in limbo. The company acknowledged that it has performed below expectations. During the last quarter for which we have data (ending June) I have an estimate that Windows Phone sold only 1.4 million units (Gartner’s sell-through analysis suggests 1.7 million). That gives Microsoft a 1.3% share of units sold (Gartner 1.6%), a new low.

At the same time, comScore data shows that user erosion in the US and EU5 has slowed and is holding at about 2.2% of all users.

For its part Microsoft has lain low during the last few months. It released version 7.5 (Mango) last month to manufacturers.  It has a number of Windows Phone SKUs in the market or recently announced (27 with version 7 and eleven with version 7.5)

It also sued Android vendors successfully and obtained royalties from the largest Android licensees Samsung and HTC. Patent royalties from Android are probably going to be higher than license revenues from Windows Phone for quite some time.

Something is missing from this analysis. Clearly Microsoft has a plan. It’s always had a plan. The plan is not easily perceived because the market Microsoft addresses itself to is not directly to the consumer–we cannot read the message. Microsoft needs to work through partners. Device vendors and operators mainly. In order to persuade them Microsoft deploys its check book.

Put another way, the plan is that Microsoft intends to buy market share. Before we get into exactly how, we need to understand the most important but least discussed contributor to device sales: channel incentives.

Before a phone is sold it needs to get through a mine field of obstacles: it needs to appeal to operator or distributor priorities; it needs to fill a slot in a portfolio of products for the manufacturer and the channel; it needs to acquire shelf space; it needs to appeal to some end users and, unless it has a blindingly strong brand, it needs to offer incentives to the retailer.

This last piece of the puzzle is something of a mystery. Although not a universal practice, in many cases retail staff are paid commissions directly or indirectly by the device vendor. This relationship between the retailer and the vendor is not transparent. A buyer typically does not know what incentives are attached to a given device. Stories of salespeople steering people to and away from certain devices abound.

Microsoft acknowledges this:

Both Samsung and HTC Corp. have committed to increasing marketing budgets for the phones, said Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s mobile unit, in an interview. While manufacturers will determine how the money is spent, some of it will probably go toward spurring retail staff to tout Windows Phone models, he said.

Microsoft Phones to Get More Marketing, Sales Incentives – Bloomberg.

In another interview:

Q: It seems like one of the challenges is getting the salesperson in the store to push the phone.

A: Absolutely. I think that’s a number of things:

One — they get influenced by how good the product is. The reviewers have influence with that and also their own experience.

The second thing is the alignment with the operator. I think we’re already pretty aligned and over the life of this release, we’ll get even more aligned.

Much more hereBusiness & Technology | Windows Phone chief Andy Lees sees time ripe for Mango | Seattle Times Newspaper.

What’s more, Microsoft and Nokia have a deal whereby at least one billion dollars from Microsoft are earmarked for the promotion of Nokia Windows Phones.

Even prior to the launch of the Nokia relationship, with the original Windows Phone launch exactly a year ago, Microsoft made clear that it had a budget for promoting Windows Phones ($400 million in fact). In the event, the money seems to not have been spent, or spent sparingly because LG made public its disappointment. The coded language can be interpreted as a snub to Microsoft for withholding promised funds.

Perhaps the funding was withdrawn because by the time the launch was scheduled, the Nokia deal was being negotiated. Perhaps Microsoft felt it better to put more effort behind the re-launch of the platform with Nokia on board. A re-launch which has yet to happen but seems to have already had $127 million allocated to it by Nokia alone.

Microsoft is proud of what it has accomplished with Windows Phone because they were able to update the OS in 11 months and took only about two years to completely rebuild Windows Mobile into Windows Phone.

But the dependence on a complex value network means that products do not reach users quickly enough and when they do the marketing message is weak, even when backed by large budgets. The real problem with Microsoft’s approach is that it’s neither viral like Android (because it has a price and a contract associated with it) nor is it focused and agile like Apple’s. It seems to suffer from the worst aspects of modularity (market lag) without benefiting from the control over the ecosystem and end user experience that differentiates it.

Microsoft will muddle through but the 20% share that it says is “conservative” seems anything but.

  • Anonymous

    Will Microsoft make enough from Android licensees to subsidize the cost of their own platform? That would be interesting.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      Who knows, but my guess is that Microsoft is not trying to profit from Android as much as trying to steer vendors away from it and toward its platform. Getting cash from another platform is not what Microsoft is in business to do.

    • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

      “Will Microsoft make enough from Android licensees to subsidize the cost of their own platform?”-mjtomlin

      I’m going to guess that they won’t make enough from Android to subsidize their efforts. It’s been estimated that Microsoft will make 444 million dollars from Android licensees all of next year. That’s peanuts compared with the funds that Microsoft is going to have to expend in order to make Windows Phone 7 a success or even a distant third place contender.

  • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

    Look at the graph, look at Symbian. People forget how many devices Nokia ships despite their weak smartphone portfolio. Windows Phone will push to cheaper markets and in turn bring in market share. I’m not sure about 20% market share by 2015 but I think it will be a lot stronger than what it is now. Windows Phone 7.5 is finally challenging, it’s the app story now.

    • Dshim

      Two problems with that:

      1. “Cheaper markets” like China will opt for “free” Android variants over Windows precisely because of the licensing costs.

      2. By the time Windows Phone 7.5 gains any kind of traction, it may be too late for Nokia.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      Microsoft made a big bet with Nokia because of the distribution Lees said in the interview that Nokia “controls” 600,000 retail points of purchase. They may be right and I know first hand how powerful that network can be. But I caution that it all depends on a strong brand. If the brand gets tarnished, all that distribution is for naught. All those people who made a living selling Nokia phones will switch in a heartbeat to another patron.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Nokia is doing a deal with MS because they’re effectively admitting that Symbian isn’t really a smartphone OS. In a way, it shouldn’t even be on the graph. Sorry.

    • Anonymous

      > Windows Phone 7.5 is finally challenging

      No, it’s not challenging anything. There is no demand for these devices.

      > it’s the app story now.

      Yeah, but Windows 8 apps, right? Not Windows Phone 7 apps, which are different.

      My understanding is that the Silverlight apps on Windows Phone 7 are all obsoleted. At Microsoft’s recent developer conference, they showed everyone how to make real Metro apps on real Windows, and it is totally different, even though the apps look visually similar. We are considering porting our apps to Windows 8, but you couldn’t pay us enough to work with Windows Phone 7. By the time we learn our way around, it will be gone. And there simply isn’t time for it to grow large enough to be interesting.

      Microsoft is coming into mobile with NT in 2013 or so, same as Apple came into mobile in 2007 with OS X. There is no hope that Windows Phone 7’s core OS — which is Microsoft’s PDA OS from 1996 — will continue after that. And Silverlight itself is deprecated on Windows 8.

      So it will be years before they have a desirable phone ready. Microsoft is a huge ship that takes forever to turn, and NT is like an armada of huge ships that needs the whole width of the planet to turn around.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HUJKH3PNRBBYWS6ISF4YJYSTDE Craig

        Sorry, your info is incorrect.

        Silverlight 5RC is currently available with RTM soon.
        XBox 360 dashboard/Live Apps WILL be silverlight in late October. (Watch for new dashboard update soon..)
        Windows 8 WILL run Silverlight apps in Metro and classic mode.
        Mango runs Silverlight apps.

        WinRT exposes the new API for windows 8 using .NET style meta data.
        .NET/Silverlight are still the preferred way to develop for windows 8.

        If your a NUT you can develop on Win8 with HTML/Javascript/WinRT.

        Why would you ????

        Silverlight is NOT dead.
        XAML – the core layout system (used by Silverlight/WPF) is core to WinRT.

        PDA OS from 1996 ? What planet are you on.

        Its a rewrite. Its not old windows ce code.

        Please know your stuff before flaming people with crap.

      • Anonymous

        Lets face it, MS has previous form when it comes to creating new SDKs and obsoleting old ones like fashionista with a trust fund changes socks.

        In this instance the tea-leaves do indeed seem to indicate that silverlight is old-cow, and MS is now pushing new tools.

        http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/steve-ballmer-says-html-5-future

        http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2011/09/19/windows-8-flash-and-silverlight-some-very-bad-news/

  • Luis Alejandro Masanti

    quote:
    “Before a phone is sold it needs to get through a mine field of obstacles: it needs to appeal to operator or distributor priorities; it needs to fill a slot in a portfolio of products for the manufacturer and the channel; it needs to acquire shelf space; it needs to appeal to some end users and, unless it has a blindingly strong brand, it needs to offer incentives to the retailer.”

    Isn’t it easy first to be “an objecto of desire” by buyers and then you get fast thru all this?
    Wait, that’s Apple’s way!

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, it is better to spend your money early on designers, then you don’t need to pay marketers or lawyers later.

  • Tonytrout

    If vendors discover they can make better profit with paid Windows Phone than the free Android, they will produce more Windows Phone SKUs. As people realize there’s really no contract-to-contract upgrade path in the nobody-is-in-charge Android/Vender/Carrier ecosystem, consumers who don’t like Apple for whatever reason may see Windows as the best alternative. Microsoft may move into a healthy third place with an XBox-like strategy of early losses over many years.

    • Anonymous

      TonyTrout: “free Android” is an oxymoron. Android fees are paid to Microsoft. There’s the incentive for manufacturers to use Windows Phone

      • Tatil

        The manufacturers in China may be practically immune from lawsuits, making Android really free. They will probably not use Google search, either, so that is not a win for either MS or Google.

      • Build6

        they’re not immune if they want to sell them in the US. they’re immune in China proper, and that’s a huge market, but you can make a living outside of it.

      • Dshim

        Manufacturers/operators will probably follow Amazon’s template for low-end smartphones to avoid the licensing costs associated with Google’s Android and Windows Phone.

      • Anonymous

        Most Android phones are sold in China, so it is still mostly free.

      • Anonymous

        A chinese OEM is only immune if it is willing to sell only in China. If they want to enter the US market, or any major market where MS has significant IP then they’ll face a demand for a global license fee.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        By the way, Android is blocked in China. They’re switching over to Baidu/AliCloud (android forks!). Google is basically screwed in China now.

      • Anonymous

        That’s true, but it doesn’t help MS any does it?

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        I’ve not heard that Android is blocked. I’ve heard that Android Marketplace is. Android itself is probably subject to passive aggressive resistance from the authorities. That has led to local forking. Political considerations are paramount in China.

      • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

        LOL.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      That’s the whole Microsoft strategy in a nutshell. But it’s a long, long process. During that time Microsoft must hope that the very definition of the product does not change.

      The strategy was the same for the Music. See the iPod. Build a platform that enables a modular equivalent, license it to any and all comers, wait it out, iterate, wait for the market to commoditize. However the market kept rewarding integration. Give up. Build integrated product (Zune.) Wait, iterate. Then realize the whole product wanted to be a part of a phone. Write it off.

      The strategy was the same for the Pocket PC. See the Palm Pilot. Build software and license it. Wait for the vendors. Build up ecosystem. Realize the market wants a phone not a PDA. Rebuild it as Windows Mobile. Wait for vendors. Build up ecosystem. Then realize that the foundations are rotten and write it off.

      What happens if in a few years the whole touch thing is replaced by a new input method? Maybe Siri grows up and we don’t spend time looking at our phones anymore. Maybe it’s something else around media from Amazon. Then what? You’ve spent half a decade building an alternative to a product that became irrelevant by the time you got it right.

      • Tonytrout

        Wherever the mobile market goes while Apple controls the puck, Apple will never command iPod-like market share in the mobile space (although if it did, Mr. Jobs would sincerely rest in peace). Apple has held at 25% of the smartphone share for a while [sorry for a lack of citation], and that probably continue as smartphones eat away at dumbphones. Whomever can make money in that three-quarters will endure. Google, with it’s $12b Moto purchase is a poor candidate.

        And besides, Microsoft doesn’t have a choice. If they can’t succeed at mobile, they can’t survive.

      • Anonymous

        > Apple will never command iPod-like market share
        > in the mobile space

        I understand why you say this, and I know it is hard to imagine, but we used to say the same exact thing about iPod in 2003, when it was first coming to Windows. There were 20 different makers of music players and some were big dogs like Sony. There was only 1 high-end iPod and it was expensive for a music player. The idea that it could be for everybody was ridiculous.

        The thing we didn’t realize was that once Apple took most of the profits in the market, they would create a broad lineup of music players at every price point, including a smaller player that was literally 10 times as popular as the original, and then simultaneously add features and drive down prices across the line, and then most of the other makers of music players would get out of the market and/or go out of business altogether. In no time, the competition was between iPod nano and classic, not between Apple and anybody else. They basically killed everybody, and then a new crop of fringe competitors arose that made music players that were ones that Apple wouldn’t build, filling out the other 25%.

        If you look at the phone market right now, iPhone is taking 66% of the profits and many handset makers are barely hanging on. And that is with iPhone still only in a minority of its addressable market, and still only what is essentially just one high-end model. What if Apple were to release a full range of phones at every price point, like they did with iPods in 2004 or so? What if the “iPhone nano” (whatever form it may take) was 10 times as popular as iPhone? If Apple had a second phone that was 10 times as popular as iPhone, they would have close to or maybe over 50% market share. Sure, that will take some years to get done, but Apple has all the time in the world. The more powerful mobile processors get, the more the market moves into Apple’s comfort zone, because iPhone runs OS X. It can scale to supercomputers.

        We also used to say Apple would not get above 10% in PC’s, because they don’t make a low-end Mac. Well, we were partly right, because they took almost the whole high-end Intel PC market and had about 10% overall. But now, iPad is not only a low-end Mac, it’s the first successful touch PC, it is going to sell a lot of units over the next few years. And Windows PC sales are static or shrinking, and HP wants out, Acer just took their first loss. Gaining market is much easier to imagine now that we see iPad. A low-end iPhone would be to iPhone what iPad is to Mac: half the profits per unit, but sells more than double the units, therefore it is more profitable.

        So we really can’t judge what Apple’s market share ceiling is until we see a full range of phones. Right now, they have only dipped their toe in the waters of mobile phones, and the ripple is threatening to capsize many boats. When they jump in, who knows what that will look like?

      • Anonymous

        Dipped their toes in it? They should have the kind of market share growth Android has right now. Unfortunately, Android has stolen their thunder.

        “What if Apple were to release a full range of phones at every price point, like they did with iPods in 2004 or so? What if the “iPhone nano” (whatever form it may take) was 10 times as popular as iPhone? If Apple had a second phone that was 10 times as popular as iPhone, they would have close to or maybe over 50% market share.”

        Apple does not have it in them. Nobody wants an even smaller iPhone Nano. Compared to their competitors, the iPhone already is an iPhone Nano. It’s tiny.

        Apple has shown they do not have anything interesting to add in the way of form factors. What, are they going to start providing phones that run different forms of software? I guess that’s what they did with Siri, even though people have now managed to get it to run on the iPhone 4. But that kind of false product differentiation is likely to just piss customers off.

      • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

        “Apple will never command iPod-like market share in the mobile space”-Tonytrout

        Premature, I think. In addition to totally unknown factors, there are a variety of known factors that could affect future market share. Smart phone market share has not even reached 50% of total phone market share. The race is far from finished. What happens when smartphones saturate the phone industry and have to turn on one another to gain new market share? Will Apple not fare better in that environment? As Horace has pointed out, the carriers distorted the phone market. With Apple expanding it’s brand into more and more carriers at an ever more rapid pace, could that change the market share balance? If the iPad becomes the next great thing, will its halo propel the iPhone to new heights? And, of course there are all sorts of unpredictable variables like patent suits and the effects of Google’s purchase of Motorola.

        Apple MAY never command iPod-like market share. But it’s far too soon to make that statement with confidence or certainty.

      • H__H

        “What happens if in a few years the whole touch thing is replaced by a new input method? ”

        When you say that, you assume that MSFT continues to be the one that reacts. The fundamental thing is that MSFT needs to be who brings that to the market. Being a follower in every feature will surely doom the business. The WP ecosystem can ‘win’ only if they gain innovation leadership.

      • Anonymous

        That’s a reasonable assumption giving that they never have been first. They weren’t the first with the GUI, they weren’t the first with the smartphone, they weren’t the first in consoles, they weren’t the first in PMPs, or search, or even office software.

        MS is a hyper-competitive follower, but they’ve always been a follower.

      • Davel

        I have never known microsoft to be innovative.I think the strength of the brand was leveraging their monopoly position.

        As Eduardo above mentions they are good at marketing to corporations and developers, not consumers.

        As mentioned here Microsoft can win by being the anti apple and spending money to stay in the game. I think their hope is google gets bored and changes direction. As Horace points out their model is similar but Google gives it away while Microsoft wants to sell the OS. It is hard to compete that way.

      • Anonymous

        They are not set up to do that.

        Consider that demand for iPhone came from consumers who had previously purchased iPods or Macs, and had put them next to whatever phone they used and found the phone to be lacking. So they were writing Steve Jobs, “Hey Steve, when are you guys going to make an iPod phone?” and it was consumers themselves who coined the term “iPhone.” A market of iPod/Mac users was identified who were basically ready to buy any Apple phone, as long as it was as cool a phone as iPod was a music player and Mac a PC. That is a result of Apple’s reputation. They earned that special attention from users that they had previously delighted with products. They had millions of users demanding a product that did not yet exist. There was pre-iPhone iPhone demand.

        Over at Microsoft, the demand for their “iPhone” was not only post-iPhone demand, it was post- iPhone success demand. First, iPhone had to prove there was a market for full-face touchscreen phones, not just among Apple users, but people who had not yet owned an Apple device. After that, demand for the Microsoft iPhone came from phone makers who had seen iPhone be successful in the market, and wanted a clone of it to sell. It’s phone makers who are Microsoft’s customers, not consumers. So that is why they did not get started on Windows Phone until 2 years after the iPhone introduction. And then they had to work very slowly because they had to support lots of hardware, they had to create licensing arrangements. They were not just creating an iPhone, they were creating an iPhone cloning kit, software that Samsung could buy to make an iPhone class device.

        Apple and Microsoft are both companies. They both have a lot of software assets. After that, they don’t have much in common. Expecting Microsoft to start creating new devices and opening up new markets like Apple does is just not practical.

      • http://profiles.google.com/lee.gibson Lee Gibson

        Seems to be an awfully good assumption, since I don’t think Microsoft has ever done what you propose.

      • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

        “That’s the whole Microsoft strategy in a nutshell.”-Horace Dediu

        Horace, your insights may not be new to others, but they are new to me. And they may not be brilliant to your colleagues, but they are certainly brilliant to me. I am grateful for your thoughts, your insights and your analysis and hunger for more.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WBEDUBYTROU67AJLF27IB5UPUQ solomon_rex

      Vendors can’t discover better profits unless they can sell phones. That isn’t happening right now.

      WP7 has real problems with its business model. It can’t sell to low-end (license fees). It can’t sell on diversity (MS has a couple approved chips and form factors). It can’t sell on satisfied customers (MS has no successful consumer software, PC OSs don’t count because people buy that from pc makers, no cc info or ‘locked’ purchases like itunes and amazon). It can’t sell on cheap games (xbl games cost more and there are fewer of them). Currently, it can’t even sell on corporate/enterprise features.

      None of these things will get better with time or more money.

      I’d say Amazon has a better chance than MS, even without a current entrant.

      • Anonymous

        “It can’t sell on satisfied customers (MS has no successful consumer software, PC OSs don’t count because people buy that from pc makers, no cc info or ‘locked’ purchases like itunes and amazon)”

        The thing is, MS has actually put a remarkable amount of “theoretical” effort into Metro.
        They have, for example, a well-defined “touch language” to try to give apps and the device a faster way to do various things, while not having users be mystified as to what gesture does what. Apple has really missed the ball on this. They started by not encouraging (by example) a standard set of gestures in the early days, and now with iOS5 they’ve snarfed up a bunch of useful gestures in a somewhat ad hoc fashion. It remains very depressing how uncreatively MULTI-touch is used on iOS, by both Apple and almost all apps.

        A second similar example is that MS have taken to heart the security concerns of iOS and have a substantial degree of app isolation, BUT they’ve considered the problem of ways in which apps might want to interact and have provided both API (“contracts”) and UI (“charms”) for doing this.

        And certainly MS is stronger in both languages and developer tools.

        My point is that — if MS had the hand they have AND had DECISIVE COMPETENT management, I think they’d be a very very frightening competitor, able to deliver basically the same experience iOS delivers, with both UI and technical improvements — able to compete on “satisfied customers”.

        But of course, MS is MS. So will Metro be sabotaged by groups within MS that prefer old school ways of doing things, ribbons and all? Will their advantage in tools be meaningless because they’re unable to ever commit to a single technology direction and find themselves constantly trying to support nine different ways of ever doing anything? Will they lose interest in appearance and feel — or decide that what Metro really needs is to change the entire look and feel every year just for the sake of fashion? Will Windows Media Player continue to be the incomprehensible and ugly mess it is today because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”? etc etc etc

        Certainly I AM pleased that they have done the work they have done so far, to present a serious threat to Apple along dimensions Apple cares about. (I don’t think Apple or its users give much of a damn about what Android is doing these days.) But, of course, this “threat” is nothing more than a set of ideas that Apple may or may not use in future iOS in the absence of sales — and who knows how that will go down over the next year?

      • Anonymous

        Even if MS didn’t have the usual inter-silo warfare, they still have the problem that they’re singularly weak at marketing to consumers.

        The Windows Phone 7 brand is a case in point, there’s nothing whatsoever good about that brandname.

      • Anonymous

        > It remains very depressing how uncreatively
        > MULTI-touch is used on iOS, by both Apple
        > and almost all apps.

        There are plenty of apps that use multitouch creatively. I have many music and art apps that use it very creatively. Uncreative apps may be different.

        It is a key feature of iOS that the device becomes the app. I’m an Apple Developer, so I had the systemwide gestures on my iPad for some time now, and I turned them off. They get in the way. It’s too easy to accidentally switch away from the app as you work with it. You ruin the verisimilitude of the device morphing into anything.

        There are well-defined system-wide gestures on Mac OS, and users there are likely to learn and use them.

        > both API (“contracts”) and UI (“charms”) for doing this.

        iOS has contracts. If you haven’t seen them, you are

        Charms is just a shortcut to system Settings. Apple has done Microsoft one better by making it so you don’t need to be in system settings all the time.

        And as I said, users will more often accidentally trigger the Charms than they will trigger them deliberately.

        > And certainly MS is stronger in both languages
        > and developer tools.

        No. Windows Phone only runs Silverlight apps. I cannot even run HTML5.

        And an array of languages doesn’t make better apps. In fact, it quite often makes worse ones. C/C++ and HTML5 are all that really matter, because that is what 98% of the world’s client apps are made with. That code is already out there.

        It is actually frameworks and API’s that make better apps, and Apple leads in those by far. Also, the interface building tools are better on iOS, we know this because people build better interfaces with them. The frameworks enable the developer to not write thousands of lines of code they would have to write on other platforms.

        Apple’s developer tools are fundamentally built to enable one single developer to do the work of 10 developers, and for a team of 10 to do the work of 100. Microsoft has a culture of disabling the developer, so that it takes a team of 1000 to compete with Microsoft Office.

        So Apple’s developer tools are a huge advantage. HUGE.

        > My point is that — if MS had the hand they have
        > AND had DECISIVE COMPETENT management,
        > I think they’d be a very very frightening competitor

        If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a wagon.

      • Anonymous

        I just have to add that this really sounds like shilling:

        “Apple’s developer tools are fundamentally built to enable one single developer to do the work of 10 developers, and for a team of 10 to do the work of 100. Microsoft has a culture of disabling the developer, so that it takes a team of 1000 to compete with Microsoft Office.”

        Care to base that in reality somewhat? .Net and many of Microsoft’s new development tools are for Rapid Application Development. That’s the direction they’ve been heading for many years. Are you sure you’re a programmer?

    • StephenReed

      Suppose Amazon makes a small Kindle Fire with 3G/4G voice… Then pays the carriers to deploy it, justified by by sales of Amazon products and services enabled by their unique retail platform.

      • Anonymous

        Bingo. If I were Apple or Google, I’d be far more worried about the Amazon phone or Facebook phone.

        Both of those potential competitors have proven their ability to acquire as well as defend territory, whereas Microsoft is too busy protecting its Windows territory to do anything interesting.

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  • http://twitter.com/rcastano rcastano

    Nokia seems doomed. Even with MS pushing Nokia phones, I can not see the new WP7 doing better than the Zune MP3 players. Nokia can’t compete with Apple. Much less with Samsung and HTC as they have both Android and WP7 phones going for the low end smartphones.

    You know Nokia Horace. What is your take on their near future?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think Nokia is doomed. People will buy the new Nokia, without bothering what OS underlies it.

      • Anonymous

        How’s that working out for them in the last quarter?

      • http://twitter.com/rcastano rcastano

        You may be right about some people buying any nice phone out there, but if that was the case… why is Nokia losing market share so fast? People may not be aware of OSs, but they recommend each other on what they like, the apps, service and general experience. For WP7 to sell, they have to create hype of some kind, and that doesn’t seem possible with IOS and Android taking the spotlight away.

        Besides, if all smartphone customers are like me, they probably said bye bye to Nokia the minute they got in bed with Microsoft.

      • Anonymous

        That can’t be true, because Nokia killed Symbian and sales crashed.

      • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

        “People will buy the new Nokia, without bothering what OS underlies it.”-addicted44

        Wow. Vehemently disagree. I believe Nokia has done vast damage to their brand over the past year(s). Even assuming their is still brand loyalty, it is in the realm of cheap feature phones, not smart phones. As Horace has pointed out time and time again, feature phones are rapidly being replaced by smart phones.

        Nokia is about to launch untested feature phones with a partner who has almost no market share to speak of. I’m not saying that the alliance is doomed, but I am saying that they have a TON of work to do, and even then they may need a little luck in order to make of go of it.

      • Carlos

        I’m not so sure. I have some friends that are bored of their androids becouse they find them slow and with bad built quality and are waiting to finish their contracts to return to Nokia.

      • Anonymous

        Do I know you? That’s exactly where I am.

      • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

        You may be right, Carlos. Perhaps Nokia’s brand is stronger than I think. But right now, I’m betting that your friend’s response to the Nokia brand is the exception rather than the rule.

  • http://twitter.com/Niilolainen Niilo

    This will be a great story for you to cover over the next 12 months and is a matter of life or death for Nokia. I look forward to it

    (Tech feedbac: Comments no longer work in Firefox)

  • poke

    It’s interesting just how different Apple’s strategy is: The other manufacturers try to win over the operators with incentives; Apple uses the existing popularity of its phone to strong-arm operators into accepting its terms. Apple’s main source of revenue has for the last several years been its ability to extract cash from the operators by selling them a product with a very high mark-up that they can’t afford not to buy. Its primary source of leverage has been the threat of not allowing the operator to sell its phones. It’s completely at odds with what Microsoft is doing.

    • kevin

      What Apple did/does is very much at odds no only with Microsoft but with what the whole industry was doing before Apple arrived.

      With only one carrier signed on, Apple went straight to the consumer in Jan 2007. And it has continued to use its brand, and consumer demand to drive operator acquiescence.

      • Anonymous

        Here is where the amazing strength of the Apple Store comes into play. No way Apple could have its way with carriers if it was limited to selling phones from BestBuy/ATT.

      • Anonymous

        Actually that probably isn’t the case. The iPhone sold well even in countries that don’t have a significant Apple retail presence.

        Apple retail is weighted towards the US, but look at their revenues and you see that until the Verizon phone launched their EU revenues were greater than North American.

        Carrier agreements have been more important than retail presence for the iPhone.

      • Anonymous

        You could both be right. The carriers in US and EU are entirely different. The phone buying culture is entirely different. Especially in 2007. In EU you already see carriers as a pipe. That is just coming into the consciousness here in the US.

      • Anonymous

        Hmm, perhaps – or maybe it’s that Apple’s retail experience was important – even if their retail presence wasn’t.

        When they launched in the UK they made sure that every O2 store (their exclusive launch carrier) contained an Apple Store style pine table, with Apple store style demonstration units in place. I’m presuming that they did similar moves across Europe.

        Stores within stores are common in big box retailers, but this was in tiny little high-street shops, Apple effectively subsumed O2’s distribution channel in a way that no other OEM has ever been able to.

      • http://twitter.com/polarscribe Travis Mason-Bushman

        And this is why Apple is beloved by… consumers. Not the tech-geek consumers who care about “open” and ROMs and “rooting” – the consumers who want to buy a quality piece of technology. In a perfect world, the carriers should be completely irrelevant and compete on price and performance only – the “dumb pipes” that they fear becoming.

        At some point, when prices come down far enough for the iPhone to be reasonably affordable sans subsidy, that could be Apple’s big next step – bypassing the carriers. I don’t see Apple becoming a carrier itself, because they don’t need to be – every existing MVNO would kill for the kind of revenue that an iPhone customer would drive.

      • http://kaizenity.blogspot.com/ FalKirk

        “What Apple did/does is very much at odds no only with Microsoft but with what the whole industry was doing before Apple arrived”-kevin

        I was going to say the exact same thing, but you probably said it better than I would have.

        No one should try to follow the Apple model. Apple is unique and it follows a unique strategy.

  • deV

    This is like looking at Apple mobile phone sales prior to the release of the iPhone. Mango will be the release to watch. I guess that was released a few days ago, on the Samsung Omnia W. Who knows how it will do when it is on more phones.

    That said, for the foreseeable future, Mango will just be the “alternative” for people unhappy with the Android and iOS interfaces.

    • kevin

      No, it would be more like prior to the release of iPhone 3G and iOS 2.0, as Windows Phone 7 has already been released and Mango is its first major update, almost a year later.

    • Canucker

      Mango is still in feature catch-up mode. It’s been released almost a year after Win Phone 7. Other operating systems have been updated in the meantime. Windows Phone will be the device pushed by sales people on commission to people who have not yet experienced other Android or iPhones.

      • deV

        I agree with you that Mango is behind. And thank you for the thoughtful post.

        The point that many seemed to miss is that We’re looking at charts of a completely different operating system: Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile was quite unsupported towards the end of its life. I think that’s quite silly. My joke about the iPhone is that obviously Apple had zero mobile phone sales before that. Obviously went a bit over the heads of those who replied.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not sure the joke is the one you intended. WP7 is a new OS, if by new you mean about a year old. Look at what Apple was doing in the first few quarters.

        http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=910112

        If we accept Gartner’s estimate of 1.7million then WP7 is closer to Apple pre-iphone (zero) than it is to Apple after iPhone had been out a year.

        In fact it’s less than Apple was selling 6months out, in a handful of markets, with no more than a single carrier in each.

      • deV

        All I know is Mango is the first time Windows Phone has gotten any sort of praise from anyone since before the iPhone was released. That product was arguably a different kind of device: who wants to use a stylus?

        This article mentions all of the investment in the Windows Phone platform that is about to happen, then shows a chart of BEFORE this happened, including BEFORE Windows Phone became a platform, as if the history of previous platforms will tell us anything about this one. I disagree.

        Apple had zero competition in the capacitive touchscreen market when it was released. I honestly expect Windows Phone to do nothing but take a few percentage points away from RIM. But who knows? The charts show here definitely won’t tell us.

        By the way, I thought the “best practice” that Horace declared in a previous article was to show the oldest competitor in a market at the bottom of the stack in the chart. Why is it not Symbian, then Blackberry, then Windows, then iOS, and finally Android?

      • Anonymous

        Hmm, actually I think the praise started with WP7 and metro, while Mango is clearly a big upgrade it’s no bigger than IOS-5 is or iOS-4 was – so I don’t think we can consider Mango as the launch.

        As for the graphs, what else is Horace supposed to show? He gives what data is available. That data is by definition past-looking. It’s not like MS had no partners selling the phones in that time, LG committed to it, and while they were smaller than Nokia they were still a big player in handsets – at least until WP7 put a hole beneath their water-line. HTC and Samsung both made devices. What do you think carriers are going to be looking at when Nokia comes calling offering them new WP7 handsets for 2012?

        Apple may have had no competition in multitouch in 2007, but it also had no existing market for it – it had to build that market from users who thought that smartphones needed qwerty keyboards or styluses. It also had only a handful of carriers, even by 4Q2007. It was limited on carriers by supply, by the need for exclusive agreements and by the fact that it was a completely new entrant – MS has none of those constraints.

        WP7 shouldn’t be growing at iPhone speeds, it should be growing at Android speeds – instead it’s growing below Bada speeds.

        The risk is that this is a self-perpetuating failure, because after a year of under-performing why should carriers invest in a large number of handsets and risk seeing them stuck in the channel?

      • deV

        “WP7 shouldn’t be growing at iPhone speeds, it should be growing at Android speeds – instead it’s growing below Bada speeds.”

        It’s interesting that you mention that. And thank you for your reply Eduardo. WP7 can’t grow at Android speeds while Android does. Actually, nobody can grow at Android’s speed while Android does. There’s only so much market share to go around.

        We’re on track for a 60%-30% showdown between Android and iOS very soon. That leaves about 10% for everyone else, including WP7, Bada, and RIM. But something surprising will probably happen to alter the course. I just don’t know what it will be. Do you? At this point, I put more faith in WP7 to assume 3rd place than either Bada or RIM.

        Obviously the smartphone market is expanding, so growth is still possible while losing market share. But it should be interesting if it really does get down to only 2 primary players. And if a third player starts gaining marketshare, will it come from Android or iOS? By the current numbers, if either were to eventually start losing market share it would be iOS. It’s gaining very little per quarter as it is.

        May become more significant within the next couple of years that Apple has the tablet market to fall back on. It’s so regularly ignored that Apple is not taking any current smartphone market share from Android, and never has. And the reverse is also true. But there comes a point where one or the other almost has to happen.

      • Anonymous

        ‘Actually, nobody can grow at Android’s speed while Android does. There’s only so much market share to go around.’

        Ok, but that still doesn’t explain why WP7 is doing worse than Bada does it? WP7 has none of the constraints on growth that either iOS or Bada has, and yet it isn’t growing.

        ‘At this point, I put more faith in WP7 to assume 3rd place than either Bada or RIM.’

        There’s another option, which is that 3rd place will be non-Google Android forks. Quite a likely option at this point I’d say.

        ‘And if a third player starts gaining marketshare, will it come from Android or iOS? By the current numbers, if either were to eventually start losing market share it would be iOS. It’s gaining very little per quarter as it is.’

        VIewed from a different angle, Apple is the fastest growing OEM in the smartphone market, other OEMs are gaining very little per quarter as it is.

        Android grew because OEMs switched production to it, for WP7 to grow, OEMs would need to switch production away from Android to WP7. Thus the most likely source for WP7 growth is from Android, but it’s still very very unlikely.

      • Anonymous

        “Android grew because OEMs switched production to it, for WP7 to grow, OEMs would need to switch production away from Android to WP7. Thus the most likely source for WP7 growth is from Android, but it’s still very very unlikely.”

        I agree with you, except referring to Bada, not WP7. Bada has done well because Samsung just shifted some of their phones to it rather discreetly. People who don’t care about phones except knowing the Samsung brand, basically buying an advanced Samsung feature phone, end up running Bada. I know that’s not Samsung’s intent for their OS, but that seems to be what has happened.

        I’ve heard from a couple of big Bada fans posting around the web, but I don’t think most of their customers are really that interested in it. If that’s true, their customers might be more likely to bail on the platform.

        “There’s another option, which is that 3rd place will be non-Google Android forks. Quite a likely option at this point I’d say.”

        You may be right. Certainly a strong force in the tablet market, with the Kindle especially.

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        This chart is left over from a previous analysis where I separated licensed operating systems (shades of brown) from integrated operating systems owned by the device maker (shades of green). There were several posts about the merits and problems of each approach about a year ago. I prefer to maintain this dichotomy for historic reasons.

      • Canucker

        Yup, Windows Phone is a significant reboot. I know it has some underlying WinMo technology but the Metro UI and structure are a major step forward and left a lot of WinMo legacy on the table (rightly so). Microsoft knows that it need to keep Windows Phone viable and they must be disappointed by the market reaction so far – however, they are persistent, have money and have clout.

    • Anonymous

      No, there is no comparison between Apple and Microsoft. All of Apple’s phones were extremely successful by every metric, even the first one. Apple articulated sales goals and blew past them, every single time. They never even had a question of how can we increase poor sales. Their main problem was always how to meet demand. Even on the original iPhone which was US-only, yet could have easily sold at least 100% more internationally. I had to wait in line for every iOS device I have purchased. For some of them, I had to go to multiple stores and then wait in line. Has anybody ever waited in line for Windows Phone? Ever?

      • Bink Binkerson

        Yes, they have waited in line for Windows Phone. In the returns line.

      • Anonymous

        The original iPhone was not US only.

      • Anonymous

        It was for the first few months.

      • deV

        @JohnDoey Pretty sure you didn’t read a word of my post except “Apple” and “Microsoft”

  • http://twitter.com/dicklacara dicklacara

    Back when we owned the computer stores it was quite common for Apple (and other vendors) to offer SPIFS to their resellers’ salespeople to get them to promote one product over another.

    Extended warranties were very popular Apple SPIF items.

    I do not know if Apple does this today.

  • http://twitter.com/dicklacara dicklacara
  • Chuckb84

    Speaking of subsidies and costs. What does Microsoft net per Windows Phone? In volume, $20/phone for the software license? That’s probably a gross overestimate. Then for a $400M ad campaign they need to sell 20M phones (the equivalent of 3.5 years of sales at the current rate) just to break even. Considering development costs, this could end up like Xbox and never make a dime of net profit.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I think it’s much less than $20/phone. Don’t forget that Microsoft has been spending for a decade on its mobile platforms. Longer even. Its first PDA OS shipped in 1998 (Windows CE). It branded its OS Pocket PC in 2001.

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  • http://twitter.com/grzegorz_maj Grzegorz Maj

    Stating that “It also sued Android vendors successfully and obtained royalties from the largest Android licensees Samsung and HTC” is twisting truth since MS do not sued HTC, or Samsung, they only sued B&N over Android.
    Second, this billion dollar is in exchange for using navteq in bing maps, and porting some Symbian apps from Ovi store to Windows Phone store, and other expenses, since Nokia is loosing market faster by its decision to bound with WP.
    Clearly Windows Phone needs its Droid moment, and both HTC and Samsung couldn’t do it since they prefer Android phones, and these companies aren’t design leaders(however Samsung its changing its design, check Nexus Prime). But Nokia knows how to design phones and how to market them. So let’s wait for Q1 of 2012 to see how WP performs.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I did not say that Microsoft sued HTC or Samsung. (They did sue Motorola and are still involved in the lawsuit).

      Regarding the “billions” of dollars, they are mentioned by Elop here: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_24/b4232056703101.htm
      “He won’t spell out financial terms but says there’s a net benefit in the billions. Asked if the payment amounts to a high-tech shakedown, he smiles widely. “We call them marketing funds.””

      I have confidence that Nokia will make an impact. I am less sanguine about WP gaining 20% share.

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  • http://pseudogoth23.livejournal.com/ Pseudogoth

    “Microsoft is proud of what it has accomplished with Windows Phone because they were able to update the OS in 11 months and took only about two years to completely rebuild Windows Mobile into Windows Phone.”

    Hahahahaha.

    I was working on Windows Mobile 6.1 in mid-2007, and 7 development was well underway (and kept all hush-hush, even from the people like me who were stuck doing quick-fix engineering for carriers). It was more a case of them rebooting the whole damned project circa 2008-2009 because it was about to turn into a mess and wasn’t going to ship, similar to the reset on Longhorn/Vista. So more like three to four years- during which time Apple took iOS from version 1.0 to version FOUR, and Android went from Blackberry-esque prototypes to 2.x.

    Microsoft is terrible at agile, lean, fast-to-market products these days in most product groups.

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious how many of the commenters that are bashing Windows Phone have actually tried it yet – especially with Mango. I’ve said this on a few message boards – about 3 weeks ago I got my wife the HTC Trophy on Verizon. Buying it is almost impossible since the retail staff at VZW are either uninformed, not incentivized, or plainly incentivized to sell something else.

    In any case, she absolutely loves her phone. No – she’s not all over apps. She needs a solid browser, facebook, messaging and a phone that works well. Her Trophy is far more responsive than my rooted w/ Gingerbread (or pre-rooting) Thunderbolt despite the fact that the Thunderbolt problably beats it on a number of specs.

    I firmly believe the primary hurdle that is impeding WP7 is educating the consumer and getting the word out. The interface is clean and intuitive, there is a decent app ecosystem (admittedlty a chicken and egg problem there right now), and most importantly I find it incredibly more responsive than Android. No random freezing or reboots, we’ve never pulled her battery (I pull mine about 3x a week), and the battery life isn’t bad. I can’t speak to iPhone since I’ve never owned one (have an iPad 2), but I just don’t see why the average non-techie phone user would necessarily think they need to have Android over WP7.

    • Anonymous

      When Apple launched the iPhone they gave consumers a reason that they wanted it, actually they gave them lots of reasons. They also gave the carriers good reasons, more profits, more loyalty.

      MS hasn’t given anybody any reasons yet. They haven’t got a compelling reason to select their unproven platform over the leaders to consumers, and they haven’t to carriers.

      At this point it isn’t enough for WP7 to be as good as Android, it needs to be obviously better – just as an android tablet needs to be better than the iPad or far cheaper to compete.

      • Anonymous

        While I will plead ignorance regarding the iPhone for the reasons already stated, I believe the only person that *needs* an Android over WP7 is somebody that wants hundreds of thousands of apps or a techie that likes tinkering with stuff. Besides my 4G speed and certain apps that aren’t on WP7 yet there is nothing that I think is better about my Thunderbolt.

        My little world of comparisons includes the original Droid (purchased launch day on Verizon) as well as my current Thunderbolt (purchased launch day as well), so please don’t call me an Android hater (I’ve also preordered ordered the Kindle Fire). With that background I will say without hesitation that from day one both of these always suffered from the lag/freezing/random battery usage/etc that is all too common on Android phones. Anybody who claims this is not an issue for Android either hit the lottery with their specific build or they are blissfully willing to deal with it (which I have been up to the time I started using the wife’s WP7).

        I don’t disagree that Apple gave the market something unique and compelling when it originally came to market. That’s simply true. That being said, to answer your question, I think a perfectly valid reason that Microsoft has given the market is simply a better OS than Android. Perhaps that is due to the limited number of handsets that are tightly integrated with the software (sound like anybody else) as opposed to having one OS work with hundreds of hardware profiles. Hopefully they will give the carriers and/or consumers more incentive to push & pull demand for WP7.

        Based on what I’ve read it sounds like WP7 is a very respectable alternative to iOS. The only knock I’ve seen is the app selection, which while not bad, isn’t anywhere close to Apple. I have a windows ecosystem at home, as I expect many others do as well, and I would be thrilled to augment it with a capable windows phone and (eventually) a tablet w/ Windows 8. If you ask why I haven’t bought one yet it’s because I need Good Messaging to roll out a WP7 app and I also would prefer a 4G phone. I want a strong windows-integrated solution over any iOS alternative – I simply don’t want to change to Apple. I expect that despite all the glowing reviews and love of the iPad many people would welcome a “PC” based alternative that could be similarly intuitive on the interface, but more functional than a locked-down iPad.

      • Anonymous

        Phones: You don’t have a specific reason for why WP7 is better, so how exactly do you think that MS is going to convince consumers? ‘WP7 – it’s better than Android’, isn’t really going to work in advertising, consumers simply aren’t that trusting. Apple has a big sophisticated marketing effort with lots of reasons for why their product is better, so far the only MS advert that I’ve seen that attempts to answer the question told me that WP7 would allow me to use my phone less. It’s hard to see that appealing to consumers, let alone to operators.

        Operators are spectacularly uninterested at this point, The UK carriers that I checked carry more models of iPhone than they do models of WP7, and over 10 times as many Androids. One carrier had no WP7 phones at all. Nokia will be adding models of course, but there are lots of other WP7 models available if carriers wanted them – it’s unclear why they’re suddenly going to want to.

        Superior integration of hardware and software? Why not go with Bada then? It’s outselling WP7.

        Tablets: We already know that the Windows 8 tablets that sport ARM will only be able to acquire software from a MS App Store that will operate on a similar basis to the Apple one. Windows 8 tablets that can compare with the iPad in build will thus be equally locked down.

        http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/windows-8-app-store-will-be-the-only-source-of-metro-apps/14873

      • Anonymous

        If I was a marketing genius I would sell my services to MSFT to answer your question. It’s like porn – you know it when you see it. I know I like WP7 much more than Android, I’ll leave it to the marketing gurus to tell me why.

        My original point was that WP7 isn’t getting traction in part because it doesn’t have mindshare with the entire chain – from the carriers to the retail locations to the consumer.. If they get the mindshare I believe the traction will come.

        What were your favorite and least favorite aspects of WP7 when you used it (I’m assuming you’ve at least had a chance to play with it since you have such strong opinions).

      • Anonymous

        I have never used it and I have no strong opinions about WP7, I’ve seen a few videos of the UI in operation and it seems to have some good qualities – at the very least it has a very strong visual identity which is differentiated from Apple and Android.

        Given their wretched retail presence I would have to make a considerable effort to actually find a live WP7 phone to try it out. MS hasn’t given me any reason to believe it’s worth doing that.

        ‘WP7 isn’t getting traction in part because it doesn’t have mindshare with the entire chain’

        This is the entire point. In fact it’s even worse than that, it doesn’t have mindshare with any of the chain. Carriers have lost interest because other platforms are performing better for them, channel has lost interest for the same reason – MS needs to build such huge consumer interest that they are walking into stores and demanding to see WP7 phones – this isn’t something that MS has a great deal of experience doing.

        Right now their big selling points for WP7 seems to be Office, Xbox live and apps. Office just doesn’t matter to most people on a phone, Xbox doesn’t matter much outside the USA and only the most clueless consumer is going to think that they have more Apps that the competing platforms.

      • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

        I agree with your observations about WP, and yet many of the qualities of WP were also said to belong to WebOS.

        My point is that in this business being good is not good enough. Even being great is insufficient.

      • Anonymous

        But WP7 has the cance of gaining more traction than WebOS, doesn’t it? I mean HTC, Samsung an Nokia have a lot more muscle than lonely Palm had….

      • kevin

        What functions does the “locked-down” iPad not have that other tablets have? On the other hand, I can think of many functions that the iPad has that other Android don’t have or ARM-based W8 tablets won’t have for awhile after launch. The battery (or size/weight) hit for Intel-based W8 tablets looks like it will be considerable.

      • Anonymous

        Time will tell I guess. Perhaps I’m living in fantasy land (I’m not a deep technologist – I just like using technology), but I hope that sometime shortly after W8 is released that they will have a tablet-like interface with the full functionality of a PC.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/IWQ7HIPZ4UJ5YWJB7JSYZ7QXKM watchdog

        You really mean a touch-based interface. There have been Windows tablets for many years with the “full functionality of a PC” – somehow they weren’t attractive to consumers.

        As for touch-based, how many and when will Windows apps, like Office, convert to being touch-based? Until they do, you won’t have the “full functionality of a PC”.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve heard nothing but bad things about the Thunderbolt. It’s an over-hyped phone that didn’t deliver.

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  • http://twitter.com/AndrewOneDegree Andrew Smith

    How can people say Nokia looks doomed etc etc. Yeap loosing market share, but over 64% of phones in circulation are dumbphones (that figure is far far greater in many areas of the world), of which Nokia has a massive market share and loyal customers. Keep that in mind.

    When Nokia starts playing hard ball, and it can, it wil deliver great looking phones, hi-spec, and will leverage windows phone capabilities. Nokia will give the carriers etc reasons to sell their phones and will make sure when you walk into a store you see a sea of Nokia devices, most of which will be running Windows Phone…Then we should look ar market share…

    • Anonymous

      If Nokia had switched to WP7 more smoothly, and if they hadn’t burnt down their franchise with operators that might have happened, but as it is – no.

      What reason will Nokia give to the carriers that they didn’t already give for their Symbian phones, or that HTC/Samsung/LG didn’t already give for WP7?

      Do you really think that Nokia has a better reputation with carriers as a builder of smartphones than HTC?

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      So why has Nokia been playing softball until now?

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  • pakul

    I am an Indian and i would like to strongly mention that, unless window phones will get capability to play flash videos in browser ( give them flash plug in externally, or some kind of alternate mechanism ), it will be hard to penetrate indian/south asian market. This looks a bit odd statement , but the fact of the matter is, when android was launched in india/south asian countries ,it was utter flop. But sales zoomed when they introduced flash.
    This is the same case with iPhone. I know many people returned phone, just because they can’t play web videos. even though they afford to buy iPHone.

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  • http://www.mspy.com Chris Normen

    One of my favorite browsers on my Android devices is Skyfire and last night they sent around news and a link to the YouTube video embedded below informing us that the Skyfire browser will be submitted to Apple’s App Store and will be capable of playing Flash video while still complying with Apple’s guidelines.

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